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Pandering is reaching new lows

In the race to the bottom for votes to win office, or to preserve themselves in office, it would be difficult to out-run Republicans as they pander to the Hispanic vote by refusing to control our southern border against an invasion by millions of illegal aliens. Democrats are trying and may soon pass Republicans in their cynical pursuit of political power.

At the Democrats' ''winter meeting'' (they used to call it a ''retreat,'' before that word conjured up negative implications about the war), a clergyman was asked to deliver the invocation. He was Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, a Shi'ite mosque in Dearborn, Mich.

According to a transcript published on the Web site HotAir.com, Al-Husainy offered a prayer with anti-American and anti-Israel undertones: ''We thank you God, to send us your messages through our father Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Mohammed. Through you, God, we unite. So guide us to the right path. The path of the people you bless, not the path of the people you doom. Help us, God, to liberate and fill this earth with justice and peace and love and equality. And help us to stop the war and violence, and oppression and occupation ...''

To the untrained ear and uninformed mind, the first part sounds kind of ecumenical, a type of universalism and religious correctness, in which everybody's biblical or Quranic figures get equal billing, so as not to offend. But Muslims see all of these religious leaders as Muslim prophets. Their view is that Abraham, Moses and Jesus taught Islam and that the Jews and Christians perverted the Islamic faith and, according to some, deserve death for doing so.

Al-Husainy was engaging in something more dangerous than prayer. He proclaimed religious superiority and triumphalism. Surely Democrats do not subscribe to his not-so-subtle religious doublespeak, which places the United States and Israel among the people God ''dooms.'' Neither do most Democrats believe that all of Israel is occupied and that ''oppression and occupation'' applies to the Jews who live there and must be evicted. So why invite a clergyman who leads them in such a prayer? It isn't that his background is unknown.

As blogger Debbie Schlussel has written, Al-Husainy led ''almost daily protests'' last summer ''of thousands of Hezbollah supporters on the streets of Dearborn and Detroit, swarming with swastikas and anti-Semitic, anti-American signs. Later, I watched him ... at an anti-Semitic rally of 3,000 Hezbollah supporters at Dearborn's Bint Jebail Cultural Center. He was among several who delivered hate-filled, anti-American rhetoric. I watched him cheer others on when they called for the hastened destruction of the Jews and when they said Americans are 'diseased.'''

On the Web site ''Jihad Watch'' (a good place to keep up with what the Islamofascists are planning for us), Robert Spencer writes, ''the West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world - and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach.''

A clergyman who advocated white supremacy and the inferiority of all other faiths would never have been invited to offer the invocation at a DNC gathering. Yet Democrats got the equivalent of such a person in Al-Husainy.

Democrats have been trying to get back in the religion game since Republicans cornered most of the Evangelical Christian vote in the last several election cycles, but choosing Husham Al-Husainy as their instrument to put them in closer touch - if not with God, than with Muslim voters - is more outrageous than Sen. Joseph Biden's remarks about Barack Obama, and far more dangerous.

The Muslim vote went largely to Democrats in last year's election. In Virginia, Democrat James Webb received 92 percent of the Muslim vote, compared to Republican George Allen's 8 percent, according to the Muslim American Society and the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee. Was inviting Al-Husainy to pray for the destruction of America and Israel payback to the Muslim community? If so, the price is too high and the potential consequences are too great.

Has politics come to this, that some politicians would sell out their own and other free countries for a voting bloc that contains elements committed to our destruction (Democrats), or pander to illegal immigrants who break our laws and then get Social Security checks (Republicans)? Have politicians no shame?

E-mail nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas at CalThomas@tribune.com. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at letters@gwinnettdailypost.com. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.